Jonathan Lucroy believes that the Texas Rangers are capable of making a run for a wild-card spot, and then who knows? Once a team is in the tournament, anything can happen.
Just one little problem for Lucroy: The Rangers might be looking to send him elsewhere to give themselves a better chance at a potential postseason berth.
The catcher, a free agent after the season, could help a contender, and a contender rich in relief help could help the Rangers contend. With Robinson Chirinos hitting for power and holding his own behind the plate and Brett Nicholas an All-Star at Triple A Round Rock, Lucroy recognizes that he has become “expendable.”
But he hasn’t asked for a trade, nor does he want one.
“I’ve been through this,” Lucroy said. “This is my third time dealing with it. It’s a possibility. Robbie’s been playing really well, so it’s one of those things that you become expendable for another piece if they need it.
“It’s part of the job, part of the business. I’ll take it day by day and not worry about, and go out and keep playing hard and trying to help this team win.”
The Rangers acquired Lucroy at last year’s trade deadline, along with Jeremy Jeffress, and he made a big splash. Though his numbers are down this season, he’s still a serviceable bat and the Rangers like what he does defensively.
Chirinos’ power has moved him into a more regular role of late. He was off Monday as the Rangers opened a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox.
Lucroy has been playing, too, just not as regularly behind the plate. He has been clear since the first month that he hasn’t been playing up to his standards as a two-time All-Star and career .284 hitter entering the season.
He entered Monday batting .263 with four homers, 22 RBI and a .683 on-base plus slugging percentage.
“I’ve been pretty bad all season,” Lucroy said. “I know what I’m capable of. I know what I’ve done. I’m not that old. There’s nothing that’s changed. I’m strong. I’m healthy. There’s just some mechanical stuff I’m trying to grind through. Bad habits, man, they hang on for a while.”